By: Kara Zavaglio, junior
Taken on the Freedom Trail, 2014
Location: Trumbull, Conn.
By: Kara Zavaglio, junior
Taken on the Freedom Trail, 2014
Location: Trumbull, Conn.
Spring Weekend started off with high expectations after another successful spring concert. While the crowd was fairly divided between Hot Chelle Rae and Meek Mill fans, both sides were pretty unanimous in one aspect.
“Who’s the third performer again?” some students questioned when waiting on line to get into the show. Connecticut native OnCue surely had a tough crowd to prove himself to Friday night.
The underground rapper, who is currently based out of Brooklyn, brought songs old and new with him, all wrapped up with power packed beats. Those who didn’t know his music still could get into it though, bobbing their heads and throwing their hands up in the air.
The greatest aspect of his set was the ability for him to keep the crowd hyped even though most had never heard him before, a very tough task with such a large crowd. The majority of his set was new music, to be released on his new mixtape Angry Young Man sometime this summer.
Even though many didn’t know the words, his stage presence and the energy to keep the crowd going was enough to keep me bouncing along with him and dancing. My favorite song of the set was “Running” off his mixtape Can’t Wait because of not only the catchy beat, but the words behind it. The lyrics speak of his fight to make it in the music business and how he’s running from everything that’s bringing him down to follow his dreams. Lyrics like his really resonate with me, and I had no problem being the only person in that gymnasium to be screaming every word back to him. A lot of his lyrics stray from the typical rap topics, which is why I can really appreciate his work, not being primarily a rap fan.
The way he delivers his rhymes are so artistically done, it really gives me a respect for the genre and what he’s doing. I think that his heavy influence of alternative music like Death Cab for Cutie (one of his favorite bands) as well as rap has given him this sound that you can’t find anywhere else. That, and the fact that he sings his hooks as well as rapping the verses, makes OnCue both unique and versatile. He closed off the set with one of his newer singles, “Cereal,” as well as another favorite of mine, “Feel Tall,” also off of Can’t Wait.
I highly recommend OnCue to anyone who is a fan of rap and/or spoken word alternative. Chris Webby fans may have recognized him already, as being on the track “Home” which raised money for the Newtown tragedy back in December.
All of OnCue’s music can be found on his website mynamecuey.com under mixtapes for FREE, so why not give him a shot? While many didn’t know him going into the concert, I’m sure he made a great impression on the crowd, leaving quite the buzz as we walked back from North Campus. I have no doubt we’ll be hearing great things from Cuey, we’ll just have to wait and see.
One thing I have always loved about the summer months are the amazing outdoor festivals, concerts and fairs that result from the warm weather. Depending on where you live, there are many different things to do and see. My hometown is famous for its summer carnivals. As soon as you see the Ferris wheel being set up in the local mall parking lot, you know that school is almost coming to a close, and warm nights at the beach are just around the corner.
With the warm weather ascending on Connecticut comes many festivals, the largest of which is Soupstock Music & Arts Festival in Shelton, Conn. The festival will take place on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pavilion in Veteran’s Park. The event will have free admission to the public and is a benefit for the Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund—“Furthering Art, Craft and Music Education for Children and Young Adults.”
In anticipation to find out more about this event, I was able to interview Derek Signore, the Marketing Director for the Soupstock Festival and one of its founders.
“Soupstock actually came about from a conversation we had a few years ago at Liquid Lunch. One of our employees suggested we hold a soup cook-off and call it Soup-a-palooza or Soupstock,” said Signore. “That idea stuck with us and when Fred and I started the Turtle Shell fund, we knew that our largest annual fundraiser would be called Soupstock. We asked my brother Joe to help us organize the event and together we created the festival for the first year. From then on, with the added help of Nicole Heriot, the festival has grown into what it is today—a celebration of artistic expression in our community.”
“Shelton, CT is our hometown and we are extremely proud of our community. The Veteran’s memorial park is the perfect location because of its size and accessibility. It makes us so proud to be able to celebrate the beauty of our community right in the very heart of our community,” he further added.
This is the fourth annual celebration of the event, so it is easy to see how successful they have been in creating a memorable event. Not only does this even include arts and craft showcases, but it also features live music and a cook-off. Performers at this year’s festival also include Vermont Funk troupe The Main Squeeze, Will Evans & Jeff Howard of Barefoot Truth and McLovins fame, local favorites The Alpaca Gnomes, Hubinger Street, Old School, Bobby Paltauf Band, Wandering Roots, festival staple Newton Crosby, The Nameless Trio, Terri Lynn, Hannah Fair, Back From Earth and The String Fingers Band.
“Joe Manganello and Nicole Heriot are immersed in the local music scene and have a great knowledge of really good musical talent. Together, they formulate an awesome and diverse lineup between two stages. It rocks. Literally,” said Signore when inquired about how the musical lineup was constructed.
The cook-off will be another entertaining event of the day’s festivities where participants from all over Southern Connecticut will compete for the coveted Soupstock title. Each cook will make a large kettle of soup ready for all attendees to inspect and taste.
Members of the public can make a small donation to the Turtle Shell Fund and become a ‘Schmecker’ (that’s literally German for ‘taster’). Your donation gets you a pass to taste the soup all day long. Once you’ve tried them all, you can vote for your favorites and go back for seconds.
I asked Signore if they had a specific target audience. I explained that many festivals in the West and New Haven areas target college students because four major colleges and universities surround the area. Signore agreed with this target audience, but broadened it a bit. “We love families. We love music lovers. Our organization is all about fostering creative expression in young people, so we want to reach as many young people as possible,” he said.
It is clear that the festival’s main goal is to showcase local talent while creating a sense of community, which is something really crucial to building a lasting and memorable event.
Due to the strong sense of community this event evokes, there are many local businesses that have remained constant stakeholders in the event for the past four years,
“Each year has had its own personality, but there are a few sponsors who have believed in us from the beginning, including Recipe of Success, LLC and The Valley Community Foundation,” Signore explained. “However, that is only to name a few. There are many sponsors that help make this event possible each year.”
If you think that this event is something you would be interested in not only attending, but also volunteering for, then there are many ways to get involved, and you can contact the festival at www.soupstockfestival.org. This could be a great opportunity for music students to gain experience with live sound/performance experience, or even majors such as hospitality and business to be involved firsthand with the building a successful, large-scale local event.
“Every year, we keep growing and it takes more people to organize the event. We are finding that with each year that passes, more people want to volunteer. This makes us feel great and we are currently at the point to where we are organizing departments and assigning team leaders for each department,” Signore said. It is clear that this would be the type of event that could give any volunteer hands-on experience and a feeling of accomplishment.
Soupstock is all about community and fostering local talent to showcase the achievements of those who dedicate their life to arts and music. It is rare to find festivals such as this anymore, which are family friendly yet equally entertaining for an audience of any age. Being that this event will be held so close to school, it would also be an amazing opportunity to either volunteer or to attend and feel a sense of community where it matters most.
Established in 2010, the Soupstock Festival has grown organically into one of Connecticut’s leading independent arts and music events. The festival has earned its reputation by attracting premier talent across all mediums to provide a landscape meant to please all the senses (and comparatively, all ages).
This is an event where people of all ages can join together and enjoy great music, local art, amazing food and outdoor fun for a great cause. Soupstock Arts & Music Festival is only growing in size and popularity with each passing year, and by attending you would be able to say you aided in helping a good thing grow.
By Karen Grava
Director of Media Relations
Retired Justice Barry Schaller of the Connecticut Supreme Court, author of a new book about veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will speak on campus on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m.
The talk will take place in the Alumni Lounge in Bartels Hall, the campus center. It is co-sponsored by the Legal Society, a student group, and the UNH Legal Studies Program.
Schaller’s newest book, “Veterans on Trial: The Coming Court Battles Over PTSD,” was released in September.
“People ask frequently whether our society is ready to address the problems arising from PTSD in our returning veterans. My response is to ask: ‘Who bears the primary responsibility?’ Schaller said. “When veterans appear in court, it is, in a real sense, too late – too late to provide them with a smooth, successful transition to civilian life. They need, and will receive, help at that point even though it is not right to take it for granted that these problems can simply be left to the courts to fix. In assessing our readiness, we cannot ignore the fact that these problems will remain with us for years – decades – to come.”
Schaller was asked to speak by the UNH Legal Studies Program, which is exploring additional ways to provide services to veterans, said Donna Decker Morris, associate professor and director of the program. “We regularly invite speakers on legal subjects of current interest,” said Morris. “PTSD is a serious problem facing many veterans, the criminal justice system and society.”
Schaller is the author of two other books, “A Vision of American Law: Judging Law, Literature, and the Stories We Tell,” published in 1997 and the winner of the 1997 Quinnipiac Law School Book Award for excellence, and “Understanding Bioethics and the Law: The Promises and Perils of the Brave New World of Biotechnology,” published in 2007.
Schaller received his B.A. degree from Yale College and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He practiced law in New Haven from 1963 to 1974.
He served on the Connecticut Board of Pardons from 1971-74 and the Connecticut Planning Committee for Criminal Administration. He was appointed to the Connecticut trial bench in 1974, appointed to the Appellate Court in 1992 and to the Supreme Court in 2007.
After retiring fom the Connecticut Supreme Court, he resumed judicial service as a judge trial referee at the Appellate Court.
Schaller is chair of the Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics, a charter life fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute. He serves as an expert on bioethics and the law as a member of the Answer Board of the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution at the National Constitution Center.Tweet
When I tell people that I hail from Orange County, California, I am always met with the same response: “WHY did you come to Connecticut?!”And sometimes, honestly, I have no idea.
What has kept me here has been the amazing experience in academia, friendships, and self-bettering opportunities that have been afforded to me by the University of New Haven. I came to UNH as a freshman with no friends, connections or anything tying me to the area, and I didn’t have high expectations for what my college experience would bring.
In high school, I had dreamed of attending a big-name, state university and was slightly underwhelmed when I arrived on campus to a small, private university in what I had at the time considered the middle of nowhere. I received all of the literature universities bombard prospective students with and read a little about the comprehensive experimental education program and the other benefits of UNH (such as guaranteed freshman dorm space and small class sizes), but none of this information really translated in my mind to how it will affect my personal experience.
Moving into my freshman dormitory that day I would never imagine that I would stand here today, half-way through my senior year dreading the thought of graduating. Not because I’m terrified of the responsibilities of true adulthood (well…maybe not completely…) but because I can’t imagine closing this chapter in my life.
My experience in college hasn’t been typical in the ways I had imagined it would be as a child: I’m not in a sorority, I don’t live on campus, I have two on-campus jobs, and as a History/Political Science double major my weekends are more often than not spent pouring over historical texts instead of out drinking with my friends. But what I have taken away from these last three and a half years are limitless accomplishments, unending friendships and the potential for greatness.
Earlier this semester, I wrote an article about the Pledge of Allegiance and why I felt uncomfortable reciting it during USGA meetings. The article garnered a lot of negative attention, and by that I mean atrocious and disgusting things were said about me and my character. And the worst part was that they were said by my peers. The people in my classes, that girl I see everyday in the cereal line—these were the same people that I could never imagine looking in the eyes again. At the time I wanted to pretend like these things didn’t matter, that words couldn’t hurt me, but I was lying to myself. Words hurt. Words hurt when they’re anonymous, but they hurt more when they’re from people that you respect.
When I finally realized I was not okay, admitting it to others and myself was such a relief. I received such an outpour of support from the UNH community. It wasn’t support of my ideas or beliefs, but support for my well-being, for my personhood, and support for my right as an American (and as an opinion writer for the Charger Bulletin) to be able to formulate an opinion.
Even though I would never consider myself grateful for this experience or wish it upon anyone, it has been the most impactful and positive experience of my college career.
Somehow everything clicked. Small class sizes meant I had professors who knew my name and, furthermore, who offered advice. Living on campus for two years meant I had many trusted and reliable friends who lent an ear. An emphasis on student wellness meant that I had counselors and administration available to me all hours of the day whenever I felt emotionally unwell.
Finally, after three years, this is when it all clicked. UNH is where I belong.
The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges recently released a study that found that the University of New Haven and its alumni contribute greatly to the state’s economy.
UNH is one of 16 independent colleges and universities in Connecticut that have an economic impact of $6 billon annually.
“The nonprofit independent higher education sector is a key driver in Connecticut’s economy,” said Judith B. Greiman, president of the Connecticut Independent College & University Institute for Research & Public Service. “We looked at the payrolls of the independent colleges and universities, their spending for goods and services, the spending done by students, visitors, faculty and staff along with the indirect and induced job creation and spending that occurs because of the presence of these institutions in their communities.”
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith said, “Today, the skills and knowledge of the workforce are the most important elements of any state’s economic infrastructure and its rich array of colleges and universities gives Connecticut an economic advantage.”
The study space also found that the 197,848 alumni of member institutions living in Connecticut have annual earnings of $13.26 billion, which results in $1.7 billion in tax revenues being generated.
Among the 16 private colleges and universities, UNH ranks the second highest with 22,929, out of over 45,000, alumni living in Connecticut. The University of New Haven has various academic departments that challenge students to get them ready for great futures after college.
A University of New Haven Alumni Sam Bergami was recently recognized for all his donations and contributions to the university, and Bergami helped lead the university through a period of remarkable growth and development. Sam Bergami Jr. is a prominent business leader in Connecticut. He received his Executive MBA from UNH in 1985 and today is president and chief executive officer of Alinabal Holdings Corp. in Milford. A member of the UNH Board of Governors since 1995, he served as chair from 2006 to 2012.
With the university’s multiple opportunities for students to get involved with the community, study abroad and study interactively, it is no surprise that well-educated graduates leave the university with diplomas that set them apart from any other applicant in their respective job market. With the right education, job seekers are able to climb their way to the top and become one of the 22,929 alumni contributing to the tax revenues that are boosting Connecticut’s economy.
I read a rather interesting news story this week. A woman from Ohio discovered that her recently deceased husband was actually her father through DNA testing. If you just cringed, I don’t blame you, but there’s a bigger reason why I am bringing this up. I won’t get into details, but this father/daughter was simply an unfortunate circumstance for both parties involved. Google the story and feel free to form your own opinion on the issue; it’s actually quite fascinating how the whole thing went down.
Anyway, after reading this article, it got me thinking about general marriage laws within the United States. My question: why is the definition of marriage still so convoluted? Of course, the U.S. has made great strides in the field of same-sex marriage laws. There are currently six states (Connecticut included) who allow same-sex marriage, as well as the District of Columbia. That’s right, our own capitol allows same-sex marriage, and yet the rest of the country remains hesitant in legalizing such a concept. Even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary has defined marriage as between heterosexual or homosexual individuals.
I’ve probably heard every single reason imaginable for keeping marriage strictly between individuals of the opposite sex. Religion tends to be at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing religion or anything. I just think that since it’s the most prominent argument, there is no harm in addressing it. I was raised Roman Catholic and went to Catholic school, so I do hold a set of morals somewhat seeped in religious undertone. However, I was also raised in a country that values diversity, acceptance, freedom and equality—a country that also acknowledges the need for the separation of church and state. At one time in our nation’s history, we judged people by the color of their skin. We thought it was normal, we thought it was right (spoiler: it wasn’t), and many used religion or tradition as their defense.
Today, it is safe to say that people view marriage as a sacred bond, a powerful bond that can only be explained as life-changing. Some believe such sacredness is reserved solely between a man and a woman and should be treated respectfully. That’s all well and good, but let’s get real for a second. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve turned to E! News and seen the hottest Hollywood couple call it splits. And let’s not forget those Vegas marriages. In this day and age, people are getting married, divorced and remarried left and right. You can pretty much get married and divorced in a 24-hour period. Therefore, it is clear that a religiously-sacred bond holds little weight when it comes to marriage. So, why the mysterious definition? Why are we so afraid to admit that love comes in all shapes, sizes and sexualities? Religion has become such a widely-used (and overused) defense that it simply cannot hold up as strongly as it used to.
I guarantee some of you may not agree with me, but before you sharpen those pitchforks, let me just say that you have a right to disagree, just as I have the right to disagree. There is nothing wrong with possessing strong religious beliefs, and I am not advocating that states mandate churches to hold same-sex marriages (that’s a very touchy subject…another topic for another time). But in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with legalizing same-sex marriage licenses at the state level.
What will happen to the 11 prisoners on Conn.’s death row, now that the state has decided to repeal its practice of capital punishment?
That is exactly what lawmakers have been debating since the Connecticut House of Representatives voted 86-62 on Wednesday to abolish the death penalty for all future criminal convictions.
This makes Conn. the 17th state in the U.S. to abolish the death penalty. The state Senate, who passed the bill 20-16, clearly intended that the 11 current death sentences would still be carried out, reports the New Haven Register.
Individuals who commit similar heinous crimes in the future would be subject to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy promises to sign the bill when it arrives in his office.
Democratic proponents of the bill argued that only two men have been executed since 1960, the latest being the voluntary Michael Ross in 2005. Additionally, the state spends $4 million a year on state appeals for death row inmates, which is seen as a “waste of state resources,” reports the New Haven Register.
Many of the inmates never even make it to execution, but rather die of natural causes. The appeals process is seen as prolonged procedure wasted on the death penalty, a penalty which itself is discriminatory against race and geography.
The choice to keep the 11 men on death row was a largely political compromise. To obtain enough votes for approval, a policy change was created so that the 11 men’s punishments would not be reduced to life imprisonment.
Two of the men on death row are Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven J. Hayes, who were convicted of the Petit murders of 2007. Lawmakers wanted to be assured that these notorious murderers would be eventually executed.
When passed, however, the bill will almost certainly be challenged in court.
William Dunlap, a professor at Quinnipiac University, said to the New Haven Register that he believes the law can survive a challenge. “Whether one thinks of it as bad policy is irrelevant and of no interest to the court, Dunlap said, and will not be the basis of a successful appeal. But he did not think the public defenders who might bring the challenge would win with an equal protection case either.”
Although the death penalty will no longer be the highest conviction, an amendment to the bill proposes that the treatment of death row inmates be applied to future criminals sentenced to life in prison.
A typical day for these inmates would include only two hours of physical activity outside their cell. The remaining 22 hours would be spent within their cell. The inmates would also be subject to random searches, and no physical contact with visitors is allowed.
It is still unclear as to how a state Supreme Court will handle a challenge to the repeal bill, but deeming it “unconstitutional” is unlikely.
State Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, who strongly supports the death penalty, said that public defenders will argue “under the 14th Amendment that the new policy represents ‘evolving social norms of human decency’ and they will use this to get inmates off death row.”
Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee said that the men on death row are “not a protected class of individuals. They are not similarly situated to those convicted afterwards.”
However, defense lawyer Hugh Keefe argued that the 11 on death row will probably never reach the final stage of lethal injection.
“The chance of any of those guys being put to death is about as great as winning that $500 million lottery last week. It is just not going to happen,” Keefe said to the New Haven Register, “You can’t have the ultimate penalty depend on when you committed a crime. There is something inherently unconstitutional about that.”
Once the bill is signed, the state Supreme Court will have the difficult task of hearing the debates between the proponents and opponents of the death penalty, with respect to those remaining on death row.
Their most important job, however, will be to interpret the legislative intent of the Conn. lawmakers.
Connecticut is the best state for women to work and live in, according to an assessment released in March compiling data from 12 sources. The report, titled “50 Best and Worst States for Women,” ranked states according to six criteria, and drew from such sources as the National Council of State Legislatures, National Women’s Law Center, National Partnership for Women & Families, the 2010 US Census FactFinder, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
The ranking was compiled by iVillage, a popular content-driven website for women that is part of the NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks Group.
Connecticut’s overall score was 8.9. After Connecticut, the top five states overall were Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, and Vermont.
Mississippi fell at the bottom of the list, receiving a score of only 1.7. The other lowest-scoring states were Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Tennessee.
iVllage’s six ranking criteria were weighted, with healthcare & wellness and economic well-being the most heavily weighted, followed by parenting and female representation in government office. The final two criteria, education and reproductive rights, were given the least weight. The report did not provide details about its weighting calculations.
Female earning power and education were two measures on which Connecicut scored well. According to the report, the median salary for women in the state is $46,000. Thirty-five percent of women in the state have a college degree, which is much higher than the national average of 28 percent.
Connecticut also got high marks because 90 percent of women in the state have health insurance, and nearly half of women have a healthy weight.
The major stumbling block for Connecticut was childcare, according to the report, which averages $12,600 per year. The state was also cited for having only one female in its seven-member Congressional delegation. Democrat Rosa De Lauro represents Connecticut’s third district, which includes West Haven, in the House of Representatives.
Connecticut did win some extra points, however, for being the first state to ever elect a female governor, Ella T. Grasso, in 1975.Tweet
February has been packed full of events with the Black Student Union putting on events every day for Black History Month. Then SCOPE had their Annual Film Week. It was hard to see all the other events happening, but they were there. And even though Film Week was going on, SCOPE Weekend Programming was still planning events for the weekend. On Friday February 24, SCOPE Weekend Programming went to Prime Climb in Wallingford, Connecticut to go rock climbing.
The facilities were indoors so the snow that came that morning did not prevent anyone from going. At 5:45 p.m., students lined up outside Maxcy Hall to check in and get on the bus to go indoor rock climbing. It was a short thirty minute ride to Prime Climb, but anticipations were high as eager students sat on the bus. When the bus arrived students filed out of the bus and then geared up inside the facility and each took turns climbing rock walls that went forty feet up.
It was a challenge for some, but they were people who really tried their hardest. That was enough to get some recognition from other students. Other students had an easy time, but challenged themselves by trying more difficult walls than they might have been used to. But no matter what level of difficulty the students were climbing, they were all having fun.
In the pile of events that were happening last week, SCOPE Weekend Programming shined through with a great event that got students moving and inside away from the cold and the snow that surprised everyone that morning.Tweet